If you want to hear an awesome version of this song, search it by BYU on their "Echoes of the Sabbath" album.
June 24, 2010 Subject:
HAUNTING and LOVELY
*** NOT to be missed or passed by! ***
If you are into American Civil War history, this is an outstanding, exceptional gem.
Even if you aren't into history, this is still an exquisite piece of art for the music lover.
I'd give it a galaxy of stars if that was an option - it's not, so I will give it 5.
October 14, 2008 Subject:
Kazee the master
dropthumb's "steady hoof-beat pulse" is a good description of the banjo style of which Buell Kazee was such a master. We often hear that boogie pianists were inspired by the sound of the railways - has he discovered something here? It's not surprising Kazee objected to being asked to ham his accent - he was college educated and spent many years of his life as a pastor. He also taught his singing style and (I believe) banjo. Quite superb, one of the very best - but he wasn't at all obscure in his day.
Upon listening to this or any other existing recordings of Buell Kazee it becomes difficult to pin down exacly why this amazing banjo player/vocalist/interpreter has not been credited more often for being a precursor to todays young old time musicians. Buells haunting quality and song selection calls to mind contemporary acts like The Shiftless Rounders, The Mammals and Tim Eriksen. Perhaps Buell's comfortable obscurity stems from his own personal history and his decision to devote his energies in studing and spreading the Gospel rather than pursuing a lucrative recording career.
Regardless, he rises again. And with a presense so powerful and flowing it's readily available to hear his untapped appeal. His voice and words hang seemingly independent of the banjo; his phrasing reminiscent of a jazz soloist. This seperates him from most other old-time records made at the time. Existing outside the barriers of meter, the words are delivered in a manner usually reserved for poetry. The Kentucky-bred clawhammer style chugs a steady hoof-beat pulse and reminds me of tracks clacking invisble beneath the train Buell must have rode to New York City. I heard the producers of the session had asked Buell if he could sing with more of a southern accent. Buell was a bit perturbed by this, having worked relentlessly to hone his voice to a point he considered worthy of recording. Or the story goes he was asked to 'yankee' his voice, which fully represented his distant Kentucky realm. Either story fits well in my imagination. Regarless, Kazee's quivering voice is filled with an exciting anticipation, a breaking sadness and most importantly, a passionate conviction.